What’s goin’ on? [2015]

What’s goin’ on? (2015) interactive object: recycled cardboard, paper, foam core, headphones, smartphone, selfie stick 132 x 80 x 45cm

What’s goin’ on? directly references a well-known and reoccurring video meme nicknamed ‘He-man sings’[1]. Taking one memorable scene from the video, I reconstruct it into a physical form. At one end of the work sits a set of pink headphones and a turning dial that participant’s turn to animate the scene. The participant’s immediate view of the scene is blocked by cardboard and instead they look to a live camera view of the scene on a smartphone at the other end of the work, held by a selfie stick. The sound heard through the headphones is a slightly slowed down, edited snippet of audio from the meme which uses a rendition of the 1993 4 Non Blondes hit What’s Up? The snippet has been cut to the following lyrics:

And he tries
Oh my God, do I try
I try all the time,
In this institution
And he prays
Oh my God, do I pray
I pray every single day
For a revolution!
And I say hey, yeah, yeah, yeah yay
Hey, yay, yay
I said hey, what’s goin’ on?

[1] Current most popular uploaded version: “HEYYEYAAEYAAAEYAEYAA,” YouTube, last modified 7 Novemember, 2010, accessed 21 September, 2015,